The MCAS (Microsoft Certified Application Specialist) certification consists of six specialized exams that test your knowledge on Microsoft Office programs. If you are preparing for 77-603 exam, you should have a thorough understanding of creating presentations, customizing slide master and its elements, arranging slides, inserting and formatting text boxes, manipulating text, adding and linking existing content to presentations, applying and customizing animation, creating and modifying SmartArt diagrams, customizing illustrations, inserting and modifying charts, inserting and modifying tables, etc.

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You also need to show your expertise on other topics such as reviewing presentation, protecting presentations, securing and sharing presentation, preparing printed materials, rehearsing presentation, etc. You have to study hard, as there is no short cut to success, but if you prepare systematically, you can pass all these exams easily. Here are 10 tips that will help you to pass these exams with flying colors:

  1. Set a deadline
  2. Set a schedule for yourself before starting your preparations. Plan and decide how much time you will devote on your studies, practical, and practice tests. Also plan when will you review your preparations and when will you take the exam beforehand. This will help you concentrate more and organize your time better. Although the preparation time depends, on how fast you can study and what experience you have, it takes about 8-10 weeks to prepare for a particular exam.

  3. Review the exam objectives
  4. Clearly understand what are the skills required and on what specific topics you should concentrate for a particular exam. Know what to expect in the exam and start your preparations accordingly.

  5. Read technical articles and study notes
  6. Read plenty of good articles on the technologies covered and get as much knowledge as you can. Study notes are helpful to learn the technical terms, definitions, and the key concepts required to understand the complex technology that the exams cover.

  7. Have practical experience
  8. Install Microsoft Office 2007 on computers. Practice the different practical aspects such as creating presentations, reviewing presentation, protecting presentations, securing and sharing presentation, preparing printed materials, rehearsing presentation, etc. The questions in the MCAS exams test your skills on solving the practical problems and having practical experience will help you a lot.

  9. Take practice exams
  10. Take practice exams and get the experience on the pattern and format of the actual certification exams. This will also help you discover your strengths and weaknesses, so you can focus more on the topics difficult to you. Quality exam simulations come with reporting and analysis tools and can actually tell you when you are ready for the real thing.

  11. Schedule the exam for your peak time
  12. Always schedule your exam for your peak time. Taking the exams in the morning is generally considered better, but it depends on what is the most suitable time for you. Likewise, it is advisable to schedule your exam in weekdays, so that there are less people to take the exam at the exam center.

  13. Sleep well in the night before exam
  14. Have a good night’s sleep before the exam. Staying up late and studying the whole night before the exam will not help, as you will feel tired and sleepy while taking the exam.

  15. Reach the exam center before time
  16. Always try to reach the exam center at least 15 minutes before the exam. Use the extra time for getting familiar with the environment of the testing center. You can also review the important topics so that you remember them during the exam.

  17. Be relaxed during the exam
  18. Be comfortable while taking the exam. Read all the answer options even if you feel that you know the correct answer. If you are unsure about the answer, try to eliminate the obviously wrong answers first. You can also bookmark the questions on which you have doubt and answer them afterwards.

  19. Review the answers
  20. Thoroughly review your answers before ending the exam. Answer the questions you have book marked by guessing the correct answer options and do not leave any question unanswered.

    Most importantly, keep faith in yourself and you will see that nothing is impossible. You can always find what works for you and what does not and plan your preparations accordingly. This may not be an exhaustive list of what to do and what not to do, but we do hope that these tips will pave your way towards your ultimate goal, i.e., to be certified as an MCAS.

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